Basketball Preview: 5 Burning Questions (Men’s)

Will Khalif Wyatt respond? Can Will Cummings emerge? How will minutes be managed? Will egos alter team chemistry? Will March woes continue?

1.  Will Khalif Wyatt respond?

Wyatt is the centerpiece of the offense this year after Ramone Moore and Juan Fernandez were lost to graduation. Wyatt is surrounded by role players, but if he isn’t able to overcome the opposition’s best defender or double teams he is likely to face, it could be a long and frustrating season. If he proves capable, it will provide opportunities for his teammates.

2.  Can Will Cummings emerge?

The talented sophomore saw 6.3 minutes per game behind Juan Fernandez last season. His speed and quickness will work well to spread the floor and score in transition, but if he suffers from turnovers, it will be a hard sell to get playing time from coach Fran Dunphy, who values taking care of the ball.

3.  How will minutes be managed?

With Wyatt, redshirt-sophomore forward Anthony Lee, redshirt-senior forward Scootie Randall and senior forward Rahlir Hollis-Jefferson likely starting, there are numerous players who have claims to significant playing time. T.J. DiLeo has been as consistent as it gets and is in his last season. Transfers Dalton Pepper and Jake O’Brien already sat out a year after transferring and don’t want to sit out some more.

4.  Will egos alter team chemistry?

With the depth that the team has, the ability to score points should not be a problem this year. The question is who is going to be scoring them. With a likely seven to nine man rotation, most players won’t be reaching double digit point totals. If sharing the rock is not a problem and players look for the extra pass every time, Temple could threaten to score from every position on the floor.

5.  Will March woes continue?

Dunphy’s squad has one victory in the last five NCAA postseason appearances despite being favored in three of five first-round games. Temple also dropped its first A-10 tournament game last season despite being the top seed. All the wins from November through February look good on paper, but can the Owls get it done when it matters?

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